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BBC Wildlife Magazine

BBC Wildlife Magazine May 2019

BBC Wildlife Magazine is a celebration of the natural world, featuring all the latest discoveries, news and views on wildlife, conservation and environmental issues. With strong broadcasting links, authoritative journalism and award-winning photography, BBC Wildlife Magazine is essential reading for anyone with a passion for wildlife who wants to understand, experience and enjoy nature more.

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United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

During the time I’ve been the editor of BBC Wildlife, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a truly professional and knowledgeable team, talented freelance writers and experts in their fields, and some of the best wildlife photographers in the world. A huge amount of thought, passion, skill and dedication goes into every issue of the magazine, the website, and our social media posts. The rewards we reap for our efforts as an editorial team come from the positive feedback we regularly receive from our many loyal readers and the encouragement we get from natural-history professionals. I have learnt much about the natural world and have met some amazing people. Now, though, I’ve decided the time has come for me to hand over to a new editor, and start a fresh chapter…

1 min.
the people behind our stories

FRANS DE WAAL Primatologist Frans discusses the idea that humans aren’t the only species with free will. “We believe that animals must be the slaves of their emotions. Nothing could be further from the truth,” he says. See page 28 ANDREW SALISBURY Entomologist Andrew Salisbury explores his career and an exciting new discovery for Britain. “Since being introduced to the diversity of insects, my goal was to work with them,” he says. See page 53 DUNCAN GEERE Writer Duncan asks whether there are too many humans on Earth. “Population is only part of the story,” he says. “The world’s richest 10 per cent are responsible for half of all carbon emissions.” See page 58. LAURA BOWER Conservationist Laura explains the extraordinary mating behaviour of stag beetles. She says, “stag beetles are fascinating creatures, and I’m lucky enough…

4 min.
wild month

1 | EMPEROR MOTH Day and night Flame shoulder, sallow kitten, powdered quaker… May’s moths write a special kind of poetry with their names. In looks, though, few can hold a candle to the emperor, Britain’s only representative of the silk moth family, Saturniidae, which in the tropics includes bird-sized giants. The wings of this large, spring beauty sport two pairs of ‘eye spots’ reminiscent of the roundels on old RAF aircraft. Perhaps, like those of the peacock butterfly, they startle or intimidate predators. When a male moth opens its hind wings, there is also a startling flash of bright orange. Emperor moths are widespread and not especially scarce but, to glimpse one, your best bet is to stroll across a heath, moor or another sandy, scrubby habitat in fine spring sunshine. Male emperors…

3 min.
mike dilger’s wildlife watching

The impact of the mighty Gulf Stream on Britain’s climate, our natural habitats and the wildlife they contain, is hard to overestimate. Originating in the Gulf of Mexico, before finally lapping on our western shores (as the North Atlantic Drift), this long-distance ocean current effectively operates as a conveyor belt, delivering warm Caribbean water north-eastwards across the Atlantic. Thought to elevate Britain’s winter temperatures by about 5°C, the current’s influence is the sole reason, for example, why palm trees thrive in west Scotland, while at similar latitudes across the Atlantic, polar bears survive in sub-zero temperatures. However, the Gulf Stream’s effects are not just responsible for our mild winters – the accompanying south-westerly winds are famously moist, too. With western Britain the first port of call for any rain-laden clouds driven…

2 min.
species to look out for

Redstart Similar in size to a robin, but slimmer, with longer wings and tail, the bright orange-red chest, rump and tail of a spring male proves a striking contrast to its black face and throat. Often found in the slightly more open areas, their short, strident warble frequently kicks off the dawn chorus. Wood warbler Larger and longer winged than the willow warbler, with a bright yellow throat, upper breast and supercillium, this busy bird moves with great agility amongst the branches. Possessing two quite distinct songs, the ‘spinning coin on a marble slab’ version, with its shivering and accelerating trill, once heard, is never forgotten. Pied flycatcher Smaller and plumper than house sparrows, the males are indeed black-and-white pied ( below left ), while the females are more washed-out versions. Despite the UK population…

1 min.
choice locations

1 Ariundle Oakwood National Nature Reserve is managed by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and situated north of the village of Strontian in the Highlands. The wood contains the remains of historical human use. 2 Taynish National Nature Reserve is also managed by SNH and located some 20km west of Lochgilphead. Over 6,000 years old, it is considered one of the finest Atlantic oak woodlands in Europe. 3 Borrowdale Wood, just south of Keswick in Cumbria, is managed by the National Trust. It represents the most extensive remaining block of sessile oak wood in northern England. 4 Coedydd Aber National Nature Reserve, near Bangor, is one of the best places to catch the ‘western trio’ in North Wales. Don’t miss the spectacular waterfall at the head of the valley. 5 Wistman’s Wood National Nature Reserve,…